You’ve seen “Skyfall,” now how about taking a look at the other best James Bond movie you’ve never seen?
Ask a hardcore Bond aficionado what his favorite 007 entry is, and there’s a very good chance the answer will be “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”
We don’t necessarily want to make bold claims as to what the best Bond movie is, as it differs from person to person, but “Majesty’s” should be Top Five material for any die-hard fan of the franchise. The film is littered with all kinds of “firsts” and “onlys” — both in front of and behind the camera — but the most obvious is of course its lead, George Lazenby, and it’s with Lazenby that, for better or worse, most talk of the film begins (but should by no means end).
In the year 2013, we take for granted the changing of the lead actor within the Bond series, as we’ve now had a half a dozen different 007s, but back in the late sixties there was only one James Bond, and his name was Sean Connery. During the production of “You Only Live Twice,” Connery decided to exit the franchise that made him a household name (though as we now know today, he’d return to the character not once, but twice), however, quite understandably, the producers of the series weren’t finished telling their stories, and the public seemed far from tired of 007’s adventures.
So there was really only one option and that was to recast. The search was extensive, but in the end Bond producers decided on a complete unknown – Lazenby – a model with virtually zero acting experience. Regardless, Albert Broccoli was certain he could transform the man into his new James Bond.
The debate has raged for over 40 years as to whether or not the recasting was successful, with many schools of thought on the matter. Having viewed “Majesty’s” numerous times, we feel confident in saying that it’s a shame Lazenby didn’t give it at least one more go in the part (the decision to not return was, amazingly, his own), because as it stands, he cannot help but be somewhat swallowed up by the richness of his surroundings. One thing is for certain: Lazenby in no way ruins it, or keeps “Majesty’s” from being the best film it can be. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” is a fine, fine movie, and one that deserves to stand on its own, away from the greater picture of the whole franchise, and Lazenby – as any lead would be – is at least partly responsible for its artistic success.
The Plot: “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” relies heavily on Ian Fleming’s original text, the last Bond film to really do so until 2006’s “Casino Royale.” The story is two in one: the first is about Bond’s hunting for and eventual finding of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and the second is about Bond falling in love and getting married (yes, you read that right) to an initially suicidal young woman named Tracy. Her father, Draco, runs a crime syndicate, and has info about Blofeld’s whereabouts, which James requires. Turns out Blofeld is posing as a high-profile allergist in Switzerland. Bond tracks him there, and infiltrates his organization by posing as a genealogist. Once the jig is up, all hell breaks loose, and Bond finds himself on the run, and only one person can help him…
The Girls: Blofeld’s mountaintop Swiss hideaway, Piz Gloria, stockpiles quite the cache of babe-alicious flesh – including a very young Joanna Lumley (“Absolutely Fabulous”) as well as the lovely Catherine Schell (“The Return of the Pink Panther”). Odd then that James zeroes in on the homeliest looking one of the bunch, Ruby Bartlett (Angela Scoular). But then again, this is also that unique Bond flick wherein James falls in love, and perhaps going for runt of the litter was the only way for him to rationalize cheating on his beloved Tracy.
Pages: 1 2 ( )
Tags: 007, 007 50th anniversary, 007 fan hub, 007 fans, 007 films, 007 movies, 007 One by One, 007 villains, 1968 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow Convertible, Albert Broccoli, Angela Scoular, Aston Martin DBS, beautiful Bond women, best Bond girls, best Bond movie moments, best James Bond babes, Blofeld, Bond babes, Bond films, Bond girls, Bond movies, Bond music videos, Bond one by one, Bond villains, Catherine Schell, Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo, Cubby Broccoli, Diana Rigg, George Lazenby, Harry Saltzman, Ian Fleming, iconic Bond girls, iconic James Bond babes, iconic James Bond moments, Ilse Steppat, Irma Bunt, James and Tracy’s Love Theme, James Bond, James Bond 007, James Bond 50th anniversary, James Bond actresses, James Bond babes, James Bond blog, James Bond cars, James Bond craze, James Bond Fan Hub, James Bond fans, James Bond franchise, James Bond gadgets, James Bond girls, James Bond henchmen, James Bond kilt, James Bond marriage, James Bond movies, James Bond music, James Bond nemesis, James Bond skiing, James Bond songs, James Bond villains, Joanna Lumley, John Barry, memorable Bond scenes, Mercury Cougar XR7 Convertible, Michael Reed, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Piz Gloria, Ruby Bartlett, Sean Connery, supervillains, Telly Savalas